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THE bloodiest month of the year ended with another murder last night, the 14th in November, when one woman died and four others were injured in a multiple shooting on Providence Road. And as The Tribune was going to press, another murder was reported, of a man shot on Mackey Street, bringing the total number of killings in the year to 99, according to Tribune records. SEE PAGE SIX

Further warning STUDENTS LEARNING TO SAVE THEIR PENNIES of disruption for customers By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter  IRATE residents across New Providence were left in darkness on Tuesday night after a “damaged underground cable� caused an island-wide power outage, according to Bahamas Power and Light. And customers were warned yesterday that they may experience “intermittent challenges with their power supply until operations have stabilised�. Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) Corporate Communications Manager Arnette Ingraham said the company was working on locating the damaged cable

and once repairs are complete “services should return to normal�. On Tuesday night, BPL executives did not offer an explanation for the twohour blackout, but said in a statement on Facebook that the company experienced a “system-wide shut down in New Providence� shortly after 10pm. Around midnight, BPL said power was being restored to communities. Despite the overnight restoration, customers began experiencing outages early yesterday morning and the island suffered another blackout shortly after 1pm, with repeated interruptions throughout the day. SEE PAGE THREE

TURNQUEST: STRANGE END TO DEPUTY PM ROBBERY CASE By SANCHESKA DORSETT Tribune Staff Reporter  FREE National Movement Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest yesterday said it is “very unusual� and “curiously strange� that the attorney general would discontinue prosecuting the two men who were accused of robbing Deputy Prime Minister Phillip Brave Davis at a time when he was acting prime minister. In an interview with The Tribune, Mr Turnquest said the government and the Of-

fice of the Attorney General owe the public a “very clear and transparent� explanation because the case was not an “ordinary� one. On Monday, the two remaining defendants who were awaiting trial in connection with the December 2013 gunpoint robbery of Mr Davis at his home had the case against them withdrawn in the Supreme Court. Tyrone Knowles, 25, and Marc McCartney, 21, SEE PAGE 11

A YOUNGSTER from EP Roberts Primary School holds a piggy bank given to her by the Island Luck Cares Foundation at their ‘Coins for Kids’ initiative. Several piggy banks with money were given out to each student at the school. See page 13 for more.  Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff


POLICE fatally shot a man during an altercation in the Price Street area of Nassau Village yesterday, as officers attempted to take a “prolific offender� into custody. However, the man who was fatally shot was not the suspect police were originally looking for.

According Assistant Police Commissioner Stephen Dean, the incident occurred yesterday shortly after 1pm when, officers working on information received, went to a home on Peach Street in Nassau Village with intentions of making an arrest. Once on the scene, officers encountered a group of men behind the home, two of whom opened fire on SEE PAGE SIX

By KHRISNA VIRGIL Deputy Chief Reporter

FORMER Deputy Commissioner of Police Marvin Dames believes the government has been unable to control violent crime in the country because it is lacking a strategic plan that involves a multifaceted approach to the problem. While the focus should be one that involves pre-

vention and deterrence, enforcement and detection along with rehabilitation and integration, Mr Dames said so far the war on crime has been fought in “silos�. “By focusing on these three components, we can significantly impact crime in our nation,� the Free National Movement’s Mount Moriah candidate said on Monday as a guest on radio SEE PAGE SIX


BETWEEN 20 to 30 per cent of operators in the web shop industry are operating illegally, robbing the government of potential revenue while threatening to mar the efforts that

have been made to legitimatise the industry, web shop bosses say. Their concerns were discussed with key figures within the industry during a private meeting yesterday that marked the culmination of the lengthy process to regularise the industry. Top figures from the seven legal

web shops ate lunch at Graycliff with Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe and the permanent secretaries in the Ministry of Tourism and the Gaming Board. There, they received their official license certificates to operate. SEE PAGE SIX

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Customers continue to criticise BPL over high bills By KHRISNA VIRGIL Deputy Chief Reporter ANGRY Bahamas Power and Light Company Ltd consumers yesterday criticised the electricity provider and dismissed BPL’s explanation over higherthan-normal billing following Hurricane Matthew. Many consumers told The Tribune they simply could not wrap their minds around the “extraordinarily” high bills they were sent, with several of them rejecting BPL’s claims of using “historical usage data” that was specific to each customer’s account to calculate billing. And as customers bemoaned this, they were also forced to combat constant power cuts yesterday. The situation, one BPL customer said, was “outrageous” for a power company that is “ridiculously unreliable.” Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis maintained that there has been no rate increase. He said the government has given directives to BPL’s board of directors to work with anyone that has been

DEPUTY Prime Minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis at the commissioning of Bahamas Power and Light’s power plant in Harbour Island recently. He has insisted there has been no rate increase despite customer concerns. adversely affected by the have been added to the cur- the estimation of the bill billing procedure. rent bill. during the month of Octo“During the course of “And anyone who is as ber.” the hurricane I understand affected adversely by it, On Tuesday, BPL denied they estimated some bills we have given directives to that it had hiked prices and then there were adjust- the chairman to work with and sought to clarify billments made for the bills those who might have been ing practices specifically after the hurricane,” Mr affected by what they call, for October and November Davis told reporters on the the additional sum that was 2016 electricity usage. sidelines of an event at the added to the bill because In a press statement, the Nassau Straw Market yes- of the adjustment that had provider said there had terday. “Now that adjust- to be made because of the been no rate increase, but ment may appear to have underestimation that was instead electricity bills had the difference that would made during the course of decreased as much as 50 per

cent in some instances compared to May 2012. This is primarily due to fleet improvements, energy efficiency measures, lower fuel prices and other managerial initiatives, BPL said. BPL said it estimated the October bill because employees were working to restore electricity service to customers post Hurricane Matthew. “This estimate took into consideration historical usage data specific to each customer’s account. The November bill was calculated from the actual meter reading of the account,” BPL said. But Margot Nairn, a 15year resident of Millennium Gardens, questioned whether BPL had been using someone else’s billing history to calculate her household’s usage. “I really am outraged,” she said, “fifteen years in my house and I’ve never seen this kind of bill. My bill is usually between $200 and $300 per month give or take. But my last bill was $550. I’m not able to make sense of this at all.” Asked whether she would query the bill with BPL, Ms Nairn said she intends to do so, but she doesn’t have


Yesterday, fingers were again being pointed at old and obsolete equipment and an obstructive Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) board as latest wave of blackouts brought renewed frustration for consumers. Bahamas Electrical Workers Union President (BEWU) Paul Maynard said BEC and its operating subsidiary BPL has had replacement cables for two years but the old cables have not been replaced because no one has been given the contract. Last night senior Bahamian management sources expressed sympathy for BPL and its manager PowerSecure, saying they were “taking all the heat for all that is going wrong now”. The source said the historic non-maintenance of lines and equipment which has been requested for months but not approved by the BEC board had left them with their “hands tied”. “A major underground cable fault is to blame for the initial outage that caused a complete shutdown of BPL’s generation, transmission and distribution networks on the island,” Mrs Ingraham said yesterday. “To quickly restore power to customers, BPL has put in place temporary measures but its efforts are strongly centred on locating the damaged underground cable and carrying out repairs immediately. BPL anticipates that once repairs are complete, its services should return to normal. “In the meantime, due to the back-up measures currently being utilised, BPL advises customers that they may experience intermittent challenges with their power supply until operations have stabilised. BPL understands the frustration of its customers and is presently working on several solutions that will help improve reliability as soon as possible. Further, the company advises that it will try to give customers as much advanced warning as possible given the present system instability.” Meanwhile, Mr Maynard said the company has had replacement cables for two years but the old cables have not been replaced because no one has been given the contract. “This cable issue happens every year. Every summer we have to repair those same cables, between Blue Hills and Big Pond. They are old and unstable,” he

said. “We ordered new cables about two years ago and they are here but no one has gotten the contract to install them, so they are just collecting dust.” Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis, the Minister of Works, said the government is hoping to “move very quickly” to replace the company’s aging engines. “Unfortunately, as we have said to the Bahamian people before, the engines that we have are aged engines. We have brought in additional generation capacity. Modern, yes, but we’re still relying on some of the very old generation capacity that we have,” Mr Davis said yesterday. “And we are hoping to be able to move very quickly to replace these aging engines, it requires us to raise capital for it and we’re now in the process of doing that. But I commend the staff at BPL for reacting and quickly restoring power whenever it goes off. If one could look at the time period in which power is off, how long it is staying off, you’ll see that those times have been improving.” Hundreds of irate BPL customers vented their frustration on the company’s social media page on Tuesday night, demanding to know why blackouts were happening so late in the year.

“I ready to put in a police report on y’all cause this is robbery in its highest form. Y’all be charging an arm, leg, hand, foot, heart and organs for a service that off more than it on,” one person wrote. “As tiny as this island is and all these extra fees y’all collecting I need y’all to go and upgrade all them old generators and systems to have a better more efficient service.” Another customer said: “Y’all need to get y’all act

together. Last night, early morning, now again. The country’s light bills already high, no compensation but total darkness. Stop playing around with people light because when appliances go bad from these blackouts, y’all turn deaf ears

on the public. This person running BPL needs to get it together.”

much hope that anything will be done. Another consumer, Neville Hart, branded BPL’s billing procedure a “pile of foolishness” and said by not explaining the billing system outright was poor customer relations at its finest. He said: “It really is foolishness. BPL should have said ahead of slapping us with super low bills and then a stupidly high one that they were estimating. The customer relations at BPL leaves much to be desired. The bill that I was issued was even higher than my highest bull during the oil hike in 2008 and 2009. “BPL must be broke and trying to suck the poor consumer dry for every dollar they can get.” “It’s just outrageously high for a power company that is ridiculously unreliable,” another customer Samantha Dennis said. “I wouldn’t mind paying if the service wasn’t so poor. “Sadly I queried the bill and got no resolution. What am I to do? Not pay and then be turned off? We don’t have a choice.” • Some names in this story have been changed at the request of the interviewees.

BPL said it would continue to provide updates via its Facebook page.

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Bahamas Police Force needs fight with crime IN 2010, the Cayman islands brought in British police to tackle a rise in gangrelated crime that business leaders feared could hurt the territory’s image as a safe financial and tourist destination. Fourteen British officers arrived after British-appointed governor Duncan Taylor decided that crime had to be brought under control before it took the Caymans down. Jamaica with the highest murder rate in the region also looked to the UK for help. Today, The Bahamas is faced with an even worse situation than the Caymans. Of course, Jamaica with 1,192 killings in 2015, about a 20 per cent increase from the year before, is in a league of its own. Here in The Bahamas with crime out of control, Chief Superintendent Clayton Fernander has assured the public that it had “no need to be afraid.” He seemed to overlook the fact that there had already been three murders and several shooting incidents just 48 hours before his statement. Two days before his statement the bullet riddled body of Via Cafe owner, Albert Rahming, was found in his parked car on the Montagu foreshore and five days later terror gripped Sunday morning shoppers at a SuperValue foodstore when robbers struck. However, Supt Fernander assured Bahamians that they were in safe hands. The only “gang” on the streets that mattered, he said, was the Royal Bahamas Police Force, which was there to protect them. Many of those terrorising the country were men, charged with murder who were out on bail. Why and how they could have been granted bail is anyone’s guess. One of those killed a few days ago was wanted for murder. Recently, four men wanted for questioning in connection with recent murders turned themselves into the police, while the police continued to search for three others. Obviously, having learned of one of their own being gunned down –not by the police, but obviously by a member of the gang — they probably considered it safer in a prison cell than being chased by murderers seeking revenge for an earlier vendetta. ••••••••• As we write this at 10:30 pm Wednesday, our computer bell has rung to alert us of a message from the police — another shooting: “Suspect who fired at police shot dead handgun recovered.” The details of this shooting can be found elsewhere in today’s Tribune. •••••••••• In November last year, Nancy Treco wrote to The Tribune pointing out that what The Bahamas was going through was the same problem that the Caymans had experienced. She pointed out that just as outside investigators had succeeded in the Caymans, they would also succeed here. “Crime is now under control (in the Caymans),” wrote Ms Treco. “Our Caymanian friend explained to us why it only took a year. It was because this ‘outside help’ did not have any affiliation with peo-

ple in Government or in the public. They came to do their job. They did not have a cousin who was arrested for murder, but who knew the judge’s sister’s auntie and therefore got a slap on the wrist. They didn’t have a brother who knew the member of Parliament, who made a call and arranged a quick bail. They did not know the gang member’s mother who knew the uncle of a ‘big wig’ in Parliament, so he was released after a year. God knows I could go on and on but I am sure you know what I am talking about.” We certainly do know what she is talking about, and although we have great faith in our police force this is a small country and it must be very difficult to do one’s duty when nature is tugging on the heart strings. Outsiders, trained in police work, could introduce knew techniques and a broader concept of how to handle many of our problems. However, police do have a major problem on their hands — a problem that the government cannot ignore. The police cannot solve this crime epidemic alone. They need the help of the public, but government has to provide a more efficient witness protection programme. On Friday, November 19, a young man, a potential witness, was walking home in Yellow Elder when he was shot and killed. Killers out on bail often stalk potential witnesses. We know of a case of a witness who was to give evidence by a video conference. This witness, shunned by family who feared being involved, has had to give up a good paying job to go into a socalled witness protection programme – a programme that is desperate to find a safe have for such people. This witness has a family to support, a mortgage to pay, but has to try to exist on a miniscule stipend while in the so-called protection programme. We have heard of a case of two brothers – one on the right side of the law, the other on the wrong side. The brother on the wrong side of the law was granted bail and ran from Nassau to Freeport. In the meantime, in a case of mistaken identity, the brother on the right side of the law was gunned down. Recently, a video created in a prison cell, was sent out as a Whatsapp message to certain persons in the community directing hits on certain people. Several years ago —many years before the creation of Whatsapp — there was a prisoner, who it was claimed, was directing hits on his enemies from his cell. Whether this was true or not these crimes suddenly ceased soon after he was removed from our shores. This is a serious issue, an issue that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should discuss with the American Embassy to find out if it could help the Bahamas create a safe and more efficient witness protection programme. There should also be better protection of our courts and for its judges. For example, everyone entering a court room should be screened. No one intends to demean our police force, but they do need help. We highly recommend that government look to the UK for that help.

Baha Mar casino EDITOR, The Tribune.

MINISTER Wilchcombe announces that the Gaming Board has received the application documents for the potential operator of the Casino at Baha Mar to paraphrase the Prime Minister “our process for licensing casinos is extremely thorough, requires considerable due diligence and the use of experts from The Nevada Gaming Commission and UK”. Surely we therefore presume this process if followed will not take a few days but probably at the minimum a month or more? One has to ask - why the buyer is listing ‘alternative Casino Operators’? There

is only one license to be obtained so why a choice of operators? Trying to think as this Government trends I suspect, to get this deal the Government has perceived the applicant as a “new investor” so all that Sarkis Baha Mar-BMH Holdings received in concessions is in the past. Plus minus $1 billion, will be set aside and the new buyer will be treated as precisely that so out the window goes the pretext that we hear that we cannot exceed what Atlantis received which few other than Government perceive as binding anyway. So we will give the new buyer possibly $1billion in

concessions ... remember, readers, the extremely valuable land on Cable Beach was to be granted to Sarkis - not a dime passed hands. Can Baha Mar in any form have a feasibility? Too many rooms - absolutely no amenities to serve Family Tourism which is what we receive - the perception of Sarkis is 10+ years old and does not hold water today (ask Atlantis). Rooms at $250.00 per person per night are excessive - 2,300 of them is a mountain to climb. Is Baha Mar a disaster in the making? T HUGGINS Nassau, November 30, 2016.

Embassy is out of line EDITOR, The Tribune. WHILE segments of the United States are deeply concerned about the very appearance of the involvement of foreign governments in any aspect of their recent elections, the tone deaf US Embassy in Nassau decided that now was a good time to jump headfirst into ours. The road to hell is paved with good intentions but the diplomats on Queen Street ought to know better than to try to help us “Rock The Vote” by getting involved in our voter registration process. A basic principle of diplomacy is that its practitioners do not involve themselves in the internal affairs of their host country and nothing could be more out of line than appearing to place a benevolent hand on the scales of voting. Imagine for a moment if the Embassy of the Bahamas in Washington, DC had hooked up with a local university there to help “Rock the US vote”. Not that the US couldn’t use all the help it can get. Only 58% of eligible Americans actually bothered to vote last election, despite so-called Motor Voter laws and other ease of registering efforts. In some states you can register and vote on the same day. Still, more than 95 million Americans didn’t bother to vote. Equally depressing, despite rolling out the whosewho amongst the hip-hop set and all of the Hollywood glitterati, urging young Americans to register and to vote in the November election, a dismal 18% of them actually did. Is this another case of “don’t do what I do, do what I say” from our friends? The Republicans take great comfort in this

LETTERS because in sample polling, if all eligible young people had turned up and voted, Hilary Clinton would be President-elect today. Our voter registration and importantly, voter turnout, has always been very high. As high as 98.5% in 1997 and was a respectable 91.2% in the last general election in 2012. Bahamians were not too enamoured by referenda and turnout slipped below 50% in June. I pose the following questions to our misguided friends at the US Embassy. Has the Boundaries Commission met and settled yet? Has the PLP had their convention and picked their leader yet? Did the DNA and UDP get their act together yet? Have all the candidates on all sides been ratified yet? The point is, don’t sleep on the Bahamian voter. We know Perry Christie and company are going to be late (again!) with organizing the election. We are still auditioning the actors but rest assured we will register and we will vote in droves, so don’t loose sleep over the robustness of our democracy. Perhaps there are things about how we roll that the Embassy can take back to a couple of their states like North Carolina, Texas, Kansas and Arizona, all of whom brazenly passed new laws to make it harder for young people and minorities to register to vote. In Texas, you can use a handgun license to register to vote, but your university ID card, even from the state owned university system, will not work. Next door in Florida some wizard in the

state capital said no early voting could take place on college campuses. There is no debate here about who is and is not comporting themselves with the Parliamentary Elections Act. Not to be spared in this, of course, is Dr Rodney Smith, recently robed as President and Chief Executive Officer of the new University of The Bahamas. Sir, what were you thinking in allowing the US Embassy onto your campus for so clearly a political event? Not exactly a good start. At the very least the University owes us an explanation. Lastly, Parliamentary Commissioner Sherlyn Hall needs to explain how this happened. He is understandably worried about voter apathy, but this is not a part of Dade County, Florida. Our norms must be respected; otherwise we erode the very trust that we are trying to engender in our young people. Perhaps the US Charge d’affaires needs to have a private word with her new public relations officer. She needs to remind the new diplomat that maybe prudence demands more circumspection while voter recounts are taking place in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania largely because of fears of possible involvement by foreign actors. More worrying for the Embassy right now must be the fact that come January 20th they will have to hang a picture of Donald Trump in their lobby, a man who is still falsely claiming that millions of illegals voted in the last election. Put your own house in order before you worry about mine. THE GRADUATE Nassau, November 30, 2016.

Our VAT money could be better spent EDITOR, The Tribune.

I COULD only look at shock and shake my head at the pictures showing the desecration of the sea grape trees in front of Fort Charlotte. The trees are beautiful in

their natural state without the gaudy red, white and blue wrapping that just makes them look plain weird! Is this what our VAT money is being spent on while so many people struggle just to put bread and grits on their table?

Surely it would be better to clean up the filthy island and KEEP it clean rather than waste public funds on such vulgarity? BETH CHATO Nassau, November 30, 2016


Thursday, December 1, 2016, PAGE 5

Commission ‘has missed own deadline’ for boundary changes By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter THE Constituencies Commission has missed its self-imposed deadline to submit recommendations for boundary changes, according to Official Opposition member K Peter Turnquest, who yesterday projected that the report will not be tabled until next year. In an interview with The Tribune, the East Grand Bahama MP speculated whether the deadline had been missed because the governing side was still mulling over additional constituencies in a bid to bolster support in tough areas. He maintained that there was not enough information to make a scientific decision on any boundary changes due to low voter registration. The commission was scheduled to meet last week to reveal the proposed changes but the meeting was cancelled, he said. “I don’t know why the meetings were cancelled, I imagine that we will meet on (December 7) when the House reconvenes and

hopefully at that time they will present a proposal with respect to any realignment,” Mr Turnquest said. “Once that is done, I presume the committee would have time to consider the changes and make recommendations. Mr Turnquest said: “That process is likely to take at least two to three

K PETER TURNQUEST weeks, which takes us into the Christmas time period which means, being practical, that we will not have a position before the end of the year. “That is very unfortunate,” he said, “we’ve been here before. It does not give potential candidates as much of an opportunity to be presented to their com-

munities as we all would like, and as the voters deserve.” Constituencies Commission Chair and House Speaker Dr Kendal Major confirmed to The Tribune earlier this month that the Progressive Liberal Party government has made clear its intention to create additional seats. Dr Major


MAJOR investigations by Parliament’s Committee on Privilege have stalled in recent months, with no clear end in sight for them. Parliament’s Chief Clerk Maurice Tynes confirmed to The Tribune yesterday that the work of the committee on two issues that have received major publicity in the past has come to a halt. These include the committee’s probe into businessmen Fabrizio Zanaboni’s assertions last year that parliamentarians have solicited financial contributions from him for community-based events and a probe into Supreme Court Justice Indra Charles’ ruling earlier this year that ignited a debate about parliamentary privilege and the role Save The Bays, an activist organisation, played in possibly infringing upon it. Committee on Privilege

Chairman Arnold Forbes who could not be reached for comment yesterday said in September that the committee’s investigations into the Supreme Court matter would progress immediately despite Marathon MP Jerome Fitzgerald’s appeal of Justice Charles’ ruling. The judge had ruled that Mr Fitzgerald infringed on the constitutional rights of Save the Bays members when he tabled their private emails in Parliament. She said he was not protected by parliamentary privilege and she ordered him to pay $150,000 in damages for the breach. Mr Tynes, however, said yesterday that the Committee on Privilege has decided to postpone its probe into this matter until the Court of Appeal makes a ruling concerning it. In September, sources within the Free National Movement indicated that they would push for this result, citing procedure and precedent contained in Er-

skine May’s Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament, which is considered an authoritative work on parliamentary procedure and Britain’s constitutional conventions. As for Dr Zanaboni, the Stellar Waste to Energy CEO drew the ire of parliamentarians after he raised the specter of influence peddling in the way some parliamentarians deal with him. He alleged in comments published by The Nassau Guardian that members of both major political parties have sought contributions from him ranging from $200 to $300, despite him having business before the government. He has since written an apology to House Speaker Dr Kendal Major, apologising for possibly offending members of Parliament. “A number of my comments were taken out of context as well as they were used to incite and sell more newspapers,” he said. “I am

Italian, and have a hearing problem, and sometimes I have difficulty understanding when someone asks me a question, so I tend to stay away from speaking out all together.” A subpoena demanding that Dr Zanaboni appear before the Committee on Privilege remains outstanding, however. Mr Tynes said yesterday that he believes Dr Zanaboni is intentionally avoiding the committee. “We can’t proceed with Zanaboni because he’s not in the country and the committee really needs to speak to him,” Mr Tynes said. “My view is that he’s actually avoiding the committee. We don’t really know for sure when he is in town and an outstanding subpoena remains out for him.”

explained that the commission was using data from the 2010 census that had been extrapolated in a 2016 report prepared by the Department of Statistics. The report, prepared by the Census Section, projected a population increase of 6.9 per cent on New Providence, and delineated the figures by 2012 electoral boundaries. Centreville and Bain and Grants Town are projected to have the largest constituencies, and of those figures, there were 12,849 and 12,337 persons aged 18 and older respectively. Constituencies projected to have the smallest population sizes are Yamacraw (8,578) and Pinewood (9,852), the only two areas with figures under 10,000. Based on these figures, Millennials - persons between the ages of 18 and 35 - represent 28 per cent (74,970) of the total population. While Baby Boomers, those between the ages of 55 and 70, represent 11 per cent (29,410) of the total population. More than 57,000 people have registered so far to vote in next year’s election, considerably lower com-

pared to this period prior to the 2012 general election. The 2012 voter registry consisted of 172,000 voters, 134,000 of whom had registered by this point in 2011. “I don’t think we have enough information at this point,” Mr Turnquest said, “voter registration is very low, we have no reason to believe there has been that much of a shift. Maybe in Grand Bahama or Bimini there has been some shift but generally speaking we don’t have enough information to make a scientific decision on any boundaries. “We have some population projected, which gives some basis for analysis, but we haven’t reached that point yet where we can justify any changes.” When pressed for comment on the stalled pace, he said: “I can’t see any other reason, I don’t know if from their perspective there are strategic reasons to be as late as possible to catch the Opposition unawares and unprepared. “But we are ready, one of the duties that we’re faced with today is we have much more qualified candidates than there are seats left to be filled.”

PAGE 6, Thursday, December 1, 2016


the officers. ACP Dean said officers returned fire, causing the men to flee in various directions. One suspect was fatally shot. Police said they arrested four men and recovered a handgun with 13 live rounds of ammunition at the scene. “We were targeting a prolific offender who was wanted for a number of serious crimes, including murder and armed robbery. We went to a location where we had information on where the suspect was hiding, where we saw a group of men. “The group of men, on seeing the police, two of them opened fire on the

police. The police returned fire and some of the men ran off. As a result four of them were arrested, one of the suspects was fatally shot, police recovered a handgun. Police are still conducting investigations into this matter.” ACP Dean also indicated that upon further inquiry, it was learnt that the men arrested by the police were wanted for several serious crimes. None of the men involved in Wednesday’s incident was identified by police. The “prolific offender” police were originally looking for is still at large. Investigations continue. Deputy Coroner Andrew Forbes visited the scene and is now leading the investigation.


Dames: multi-faceted plan needed on crime from page one talk show Darold Miller Live. “Part of the problem is that we are trying to fight crime in silos. The solution to crime must involve a multifaceted and coordinated approach. Presently, the focus seems all to be on enforcement, which is understandable, but the issue with that is when the state of crime reaches this level, it is already too late. And so, that means we are reacting to an already existing problem which continues to spiral out of control.” His comments came a day after FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis chastised the Christie administration for failing to “bring forth a real plan” to address crime. According to The Tribune’s records, 12 people have been murdered in November, compared to ten in October, and six in September. Despite a spate of killings over the

MARVIN DAMES past few days, murders have the police force and commutrended down compared to nities such as Mount Moriah 2015, which set a homicide re- need strengthening. He addcord of 146 homicides. ed that community policing Up to press time, the needs to become the norm murder toll stood at 97 for to bridge the divide between the year, compared to the law enforcement and the 136 recorded up to this community so that prevenpoint in 2015, according to tion and deterrence is the orThe Tribune’s records. der of the day. Mr Dames said he believes “We have strayed from that the relationship between our community policing

efforts. Any successful fight against crime must involve a sustained effort that brings the police and the community together in a genuine way. The police along with the support and cooperation of the community is vital to curbing violent crime at all levels, which also makes for a more safe and harmonious society,” he added. Mr Dames said he believes a constituency-wide crime watch initiative focusing on surveillance, patrol and mutual partnerships should be set up, where volunteers within the community can help in the fight against crime. He also briefly focused on his plans to build a camera surveillance centre, which will be comprised of CCTV cameras to provide security footage for the community. Mr Dames said that if communities are self-sustainable, allowing people to be independent, then crime could be reduced substantially.


Four females - including a child - and one male believed to be in his teens were shot in the incident by assailants who pulled up in a vehicle according

to police. Assistant Police Commissioner Stephen Dean said that police were called after they received reports of gunshots shortly after 11pm. When officers arrived, they found five people had

been shot with one woman dead. December began with another murder as a man who had been shot on Mackey Street was taken to hospital where he died around 12.45am, police reported.


They were gracious, FML Group of Companies CEO Craig Flowers said, applauding Mr Wilchcombe and the members of the Gaming Board for successfully completing the “humongous” challenge of regularising the industry. “Most of the objectives originally set out have been achieved and that’s because of their professionalism and hard work,” Mr Flowers said.

But behind the celebration of the milestone is a growing concern among web shop bosses that authorities aren’t doing enough to clamp down on illegal operators, Mr Flowers and Raymond Culmer, CEO of Chances Games, told The Tribune yesterday. A major source of controversy in the past, the idea of illegal web shop operations has received little attention in recent times as focus has shifted toward web shop proliferation within the regulated sector while Bahamians wait for zoning regulations to be released. Top government and law enforcement officials have said in the past that many illegal web shop operations have been closed during the regularisation process. Most of the allegedly illegal operations that are still open exist in Grand Bahama, where three such operators have a major presence, Mr Culmer said. “They are operating with impunity. From all accounts and from my own investigations, they are very prolific, representing 20 to 30 per cent of the market. We invested a lot in this industry and it was open to all to vie for license and for some people to continue to operate in that same illegal vein is unfair to us. We are licensed and we are to be protected just like you would protect fisheries from poachers.” Mr Flowers and Mr Culmer said Gaming Board officials have admitted they are aware of the problem, with Gaming Board Permanent Secretary Dennis Martin saying during the meeting that he spoke to

Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade about the issue just yesterday morning. “We feel the (Gaming) Board should spur police on to deal with these issues,” Mr Culmer said. The Gaming Board, however, has said that it has regulatory functions, not enforcement. “We didn’t get the impression that the police will be mobilised,” Mr Flowers said. Particular concern was expressed about the continued operation of Bet Vegas, a web shop that was denied a license by the Gaming Board but remains operational while it faces proceedings in court. “They are expanding,” Mr Flowers said, claiming that two Bet Vegas gaming houses have emerged “across the road” from two FML web shops. “They’re not paying their taxes. How can we legitimately accept this?” But web shop bosses said Bet Vegas isn’t alone when it comes to unregulated activity. “There are other communities and cultures doing their things,” Mr Flowers said. “The hand held mobile devices, which we were banned from using, are still prominent.” “A lot of praise is due to the Gaming Board for arriving at this point, but I’m concerned that it can all be jeopardised and that all the money spent, the hard work of operators might not amount to a hill of beans if the problem with the unregulated operators isn’t resolved in an expeditious manner.”


Thursday, December 1, 2016, PAGE 7



A WORKER for a local company contracted by the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) for its street light repair programme was electrocuted while working yesterday and died at the Rand Memorial Hospital. The Tribune understands that Timothy Williams, a husband and father, came into contact with a live wire shortly after 3pm in the Bahama Reef Boulevard area. A number of distraught family members, including the victim’s wife, rushed to the

hospital on learning news of the tragedy. Police officers were also present at the hospital. He died around 6pm. According to a relative, Mr Williams was inside a bucket truck working when he came into contact with live power line and was injured. The relative also said that a female working alongside him at the time was also injured but is in stable condition in hospital. Mr Williams had been working with local Bahamian contractor, IRS, which has been contracted by the Power Company, for some time. Police are investigating the incident.

By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter


Judge refuses to adjourn decade-old murder case By LAMECH JOHNSON Tribune Staff Reporter

A SUPREME Court judge yesterday told the junior lawyer for a man awaiting trial on a murder and rape charge that he was not inclined to adjourn the decade-old case until 2018. Stephen Burrows Jr, the accused, appeared before Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs for a fixture hearing concerning the August 2006 murder and sexual assault of Veronica Smith. Last November, Senior Justice Isaacs directed Burrows Jr to undergo a mental evaluation to determine

whether he is capable of assisting in the preparation of his defense when the question of his fitness to stand trial had arisen. The court had previously heard from psychiatrist Dr John Dillard that on July 3, 2015, Burrows was treated at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) in July 2014 for a psychotic episode brought on by marijuana abuse. When he testified, the doctor said that Burrows was suffering from “persecutory illusions” claiming that his mother and lawyer were conspiring against him. According to Dr Dillard, Burrows’ condition

improved after seven weeks of treatment. He said upon Burrows’ discharge in September 2014 he was considered fit to stand trial. However, the doctor said that he could not speak to Burrows’ current state of mind since then. A subsequent hearing was held on his competency to stand trial and a jury determined that Burrows Jr was mentally fit for trial. Yesterday, Charisma Roberts, associate of Murrio Ducille, appeared on the veteran lawyer’s behalf and indicated that Mr Ducille’s calendar for 2017 and 2018 was booked with November 19, 2018 and Janu-

ary 22, 2019 being the only available dates for the hearing of the matter. Senior Justice Isaacs, however, said this was not acceptable given the length of delay in the case. “I’d ask you to go back to your senior and ask for him to make an earlier accommodation of the matter,” the judge said. Ms Roberts suggested that another fixture hearing be arranged as Mr Ducille was currently in a trial. The new fixture hearing was set for December 7 at 10am. Algernon Allen II and Maria Zancolla appeared for the Crown yesterday.


A MAN was remanded to prison yesterday after he was arraigned on a charge of possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply.

Franky Killick, 32, of Bacardi Road appeared before Magistrate Samuel McKinney accused of being found with five pounds of Indian hemp (marijuana) on Wednesday, November 9. The drugs have an estimated street value of

$5,000. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge when called to answer to the allegation. Due to the nature of the charge, Killick was remanded to the Department of Correctional Services to await trial on January 12,

2017. However, he has the right to apply for bail in the Supreme Court. A conviction for possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply carries a possible fine and/ or up to seven years in prison.

A COURT seized more than $19,000 in US currency from a man and a woman yesterday for failing to get formal permission to carry that amount of money out of the country for their trip to Haiti. Magistrate Samuel McKinney told Samson Viliues, 42, and Marlene Dolce, 31, that they were wrong to attempt to travel with US$19,847 on their person without getting permission from the proper authorities. They were told that they could have received an outright fine and/or custodial sentence for their actions. The Carmichael Road residents were arraigned on a single charge of attempted exportation of restricted goods to which they pleaded guilty. It was alleged that they failed to obtain Central Bank approval to carry the cash outside the country prior to November 29 when they were arrested at the Domestic/International Departure Security checkpoint at the Lynden Pindling International Airport. According to a summary of the facts read by police prosecutor Supt Ercell Dorsett, around 8.30am on the day in question, officers at LPIA saw the defendants

and selected them for a search. The officers inquired of their destination. They told police that they were travelling to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos on a connecting flight to Haiti. During the search, Vileus was found with $9,815 and Dolce with $10,032. They told police that the money was not all theirs as they were carrying funds for other relatives to their families in Haiti. When asked if they accepted the facts read by the prosecutor, the pair said yes. “The law requires you, when you are travelling out of the jurisdiction, to get permission from Central Bank or Bahamas Customs to carry that amount. Even though you were carrying for other families, they themselves must have the permission from the Exchange Control,” Magistrate McKinney said. “The court will not impose a custodial sentence. Instead the court will order a forfeiture of the funds to the Crown. You’ll be placed on probation for one year with the condition being that you don’t breach any laws within that period. If you do, you will each pay a fine of $3,500 or the alternative of six months will be imposed,” the magistrate ruled.

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No place for political partisan ploys when the people rise up

BLACK Friday was a wonderful day for democracy in the Bahamas. The march was a gathering of Bahamians who - individually and collectively - found their voices and peacefully expressed themselves in a resounding crescendo of dissent. I basked in the midst of the black shirts assembled in Rawson Square, donned in my all black suit and proud that Bahamians were finally returning to our ways of protesting political shortcomings and injustices and saying enough is enough. Bahamians are tired of our governance being a revolving door between insincere Free National Movement (FNM) and Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) politicians. The most sincere among the marchers - and I’m not talking about politicians - yearn to see an overturning of the political applecart, yearn to see a blowing up of the status quo. The march is the beginning of the Bahamian Arab Spring or, dare I say, the Bahamian Awakening. During the Arab Spring, we saw the emergence of people that we had never heard of or seen before. These were people who, previously, had little or no influence but who impelled powerful movements that toppled governments, deposed dictators and radically - whether for good or bad - changed the course of these countries. Ranard Henfield, an attorney who led the organising committee for the march, is one such person. I have read Henfield’s letters to Prime Minister Perry Christie and I think that his demands are all reasonable and are issues of interest for all Bahamians desirous of good governance and real change. Unfortunately, we might have to have more of these

A Young Man’s View


movements as no real po- Lynden Pindling (South litical change is on the ho- Andros and Mangrove rizon. Cay), Perry Christie (CenWhen one compares the treville), Bernard Nottage 2011 protest against the sale (Kennedy), Phillip Galanis of BTC to the Black Friday (Englerston) and Cynthia March, the BTC protest “Mother” Pratt (St Cecilia). can be considered the kin- At that time, I was a junior/ dergarten version of public senior high school student protest in terms of size and in Long Island and I keenly impact. The video of both listened to their debates. protests is online and one Though the FNM held 34 can watch for themselves of the 40 seats, the six memand make a determination. bers of the PLP’s caucus Everyday Bahamians were proved to be an impressive, excited by and formidable pleased with ‘The only political Opposition. the march. Bradley RobFrankly, the grouping that erts made a march tran- ought to have been name for himscended class, at that march self - Big Bad race, ethnicity Brad - and and traditional without seeming as a kid who political ideol- hypocritical - was loved politics ogy. and thrilling the Democratic Bahamians exchanges in are frustrated. National Alliance.’ the House of The governing Assembly, I PLP has steered was glued to my radio. If our country into treacher- the PLP six could hold the ous seas, without a compass FNM accountable in 1997, and seemingly without the then surely the FNM with political will to get our so- 10 members ought to have ciety and economy back on been more a more progrestrack. On the other hand, sive, shuddersome opposithe FNM has proven to tion force. be the worst Opposition As it stands, it is clear that we have had in an in- that Bahamians believe that dependent Bahamas. The both major political parties current incarnation of the are out of touch. Opposition is - in large part Whilst it is hoped that - the reason why the PLP the outcome of the march has been able to operate would mean that business without impunity, answer- as usual in the Bahamas is ing to no one and unafraid no more, I am not naïve. We of a passive, spayed, way- would have, as a people, to too-old FNM caucus. take a number of actions, In 1997, the PLP won whether by protests or litisix of 40 seats. The seats gation, to get the country were held by Bradley Rob- that we deserve. I’ve found erts (Grants Town), Sir that Bahamian politicians

PLP minister Shane Gibson at the assembly point of the march at Arawak Cay on Friday. are generally insincere and only concerned with winning their seats, where they sit comfortably for fourand-a-half years, insulting our collective intelligence and pretending to be the kings and queens of our personal and national fortunes. Interestingly, the Black Friday march attracted politicians from the FNM, PLP and Democratic National Alliance (DNA). The only political grouping that ought to have been at that march - without seeming hypocritical - was the DNA. The DNA does not have a voice in the House of Assembly. No member of the

DNA sits around the Cabinet table. Unlike the FNM, the DNA does not head the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). It appears that the march was so good that government ministers got caught up in the moment and protested against themselves. I think they were also showing protesters that they did not fear any movement. They marched. Then criticised and dismissed the organisers. Imagine that! Likewise, the FNM brought their entire slate, led by leader Dr Hubert Minnis. The Opposition shares some degree of complicity for the status quo.

Whilst I am less concerned by the presence of Opposition politicians, I have a serious problem with the Opposition leadership’s laying of claim and absurd attempts to take credit for the march. The Black Friday march was neither conceived by, promoted, planned or executed by the Official Opposition. The march was truly a populist initiative. With an election on the horizon and a plethora of issues to address, perhaps the Opposition should organise its own march and we can all compare and assess the turn out. The presence of the Opposition was diminished by the ill-considered decision to arrive and march as a distinctly FNM force. It cheapened the event and confirmed that, at least for some Opposition politicians, this was all about optics and political brownie points. This further demonstrates the belief of many Bahamians that politicians in both major parties are tone deaf. Why has the PAC not properly accounted for their existence in the House of Assembly? Why march for accountability when one heads a body of the House that ought to investigate and report to the public about government expenditure? Whilst the DNA will get a pass because of their current political station, the PLP and the FNM must account. Bahamians are tired of the Opposition’s leadership using the proverbial finger in the wind test, then uttering words of Machiavellian opportunists who have salivated all over their index finger/s and, having raised it like a weather vane into the winter wind of the Bahamas to seek directions, going


Thursday, December 1, 2016, PAGE 9

‘The inability of the governing PLP to understand that people see the Bahamas in colours other than red or yellow or green shows how disconnected they are.’ with whatever flow guarantees their erstwhile quest for national leadership. Sometimes, it is difficult to listen to and/or read some of the commentary without some degree of revulsion. Unfortunately, the Official Opposition has been at the fore of pushing a self-interested agenda that seeks to use the march to trump the governing PLP. On the other hand, PLP ministers Kenred Dorsett and Jerome Fitzgerald have projected themselves as petty, flip-flopping sectarians who cannot see the forest for the trees, who are unwilling to accept that Friday’s march was a movement of the people and that they should listen to the issues advanced by the organisers. This is notwithstanding the fact that these ministers were “march crashers” who crusaded

THE PROTEST march to Rawson Square on Black Friday.  against themselves! The inability of the governing PLP to understand that people see the Bahamas in colours other than red or yellow or green shows how disconnected they are. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred

Mitchell’s intolerant voice note should send shivers down the spine of every Bahamian. Ever the hypocrite, it was Fred Mitchell who, along with Michael Sawyer Brown, Dennis Dames, Phillip Miller and Horace Pierre burnt the constitu-

No prosecution, no explanation - again

Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff tion in December, 1989. Mr Mitchell led and/or participated in many protests during his younger days. He was once held in high regard and understudied by young revolutionaries in the making. He has since been a disappointment, forgetting

positions that he purportedly took on principle and emerging as an impervious old man who has clearly become hypnotised by the trappings of political power. Will the real Fred Mitchell please stand up? Partisan ploys have been

on full display in the wake of last Friday’s march. How very sad! We are sick and tired of self-aggrandising political crusaders. Comments and responses to

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POLICE Commissioner Ellison Greenslade outside the home of Deputy PM Philip Davis after the house was targeted in a robbery. ATTORNEY General Allyson Maynard-Gibson must be held to account for the number of ‘nolle prosequis’ being issued by her office. This week, two defendants who were awaiting trial in connection with the gunpoint robbery of Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis at his home had the case against them withdrawn in the Supreme Court. The third defendant was killed in a shootout with police in September. During the hearing on Monday, Crown prosecutor Patrick Sweeting produced a nolle prosequi (no prosecution) signed by the Attorney General asking that the charge be discontinued against the two accused. The men were accused of robbing Mr Davis of jewellery worth $93,000, a jewellery box worth $200, Baraka gold jewellery worth $700, an opal top wallet worth $450, a Royal Bank of Canada credit card and a driver’s licence worth $15. They were also accused of robbing Mr Davis’ wife, Ann Marie, of $2,953, and Wilberforce Seymour of $10. Notably, Mr Davis was Acting Prime Minister at the time of the incident as Perry Christie was out of the country. Why was a nolle issued? What happened to the video evidence? The public deserves an explanation. In no other country would accused assailants

rob and hold-up an Acting Prime Minister at gunpoint and the case suddenly disappear. Was the nolle issued for a political reason? Something seems shady! Why is the Office of the Attorney General handing out nolle prosequis so habitually? How many nolles were entered this year and on what grounds? Yes, it is sometimes beneficial to enter a nolle from an administrative standpoint but what is the reason for the issuance of the nolle in this matter? Why does the public not yet know what national security issue led to a nolle prosequi being entered by then acting Attorney General Jerome Fitzgerald on your former clients’ behalf? In September, Labour Minister Shane Gibson hit out at Mrs Maynard-Gibson for not informing him of her decision to stop a private prosecution against Sandals Royal Bahamian and two of its senior executives. Interestingly, Mr Davis and Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe said they were both unaware that a nolle prosequi had been issued on August 15 - the same day the hotel terminated more than 600 employees. Both ministers were critical and expressed a belief that the matter could injure the governing party’s public image, specifically its deeply rooted ties to the labour movement. Mrs Maynard-Gibson shot back, dismissing the

criticisms and stating that “the Attorney General in the execution of her constitutional duty is never swayed by the political objectives of her colleagues or anyone else”. So, can we be assured that no political objectives (or anyone else) caused the issuance of this recent nolle? And was the Deputy Prime Minister aware of the issuance of this nolle before it was presented to the Court? Comments and responses to

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GOVERNOR General Dame Marguerite Pindling (fourth from right) and Minister of Social Services and Community Development Melanie Griffin pose for a photograph with those being honoured or their representatives at the Nation Builders Award Ceremony.  Photo: Patrick Hanna/BIS THE Ministry of Social Services and Community Development in conjunction with the National Council on Older Persons honoured 11 centenarians from across the country at the 19th annual Nation Builders Awards ceremony at Government House on Tuesday. During the ceremony, Minister of Social Services and Community Devel-

opment Melanie Griffin explained that improved healthcare and focus on healthy lifestyles has led to longevity of life. She said nation builders are the bedrock of the Bahamian society. “Whether it has been at the forefront of the battle or as foot soldiers in the trenches, they have set the pace and provided the foundation on which we build today. We are truly

grateful to them for their commitment and service in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.” Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling presented the awards to those being honoured during the ceremony. On October 1, 2016, the Bahamas joined the General Assembly of The United Nations in celebration of its 26th Internation-

al Day of Older Persons. The theme for this year is ‘Take a Stand Against Ageism’. Mrs Griffin explained that ageism is defined as a widely prejudiced attitude against older persons. “In its simplest form, ageism is discrimination based on age and finds expression in many individual attitudes, some institutional policies and

practices. “Ageism assumes that discrimination against older persons is acceptable and manifests itself in both individual and institutional behaviours and in decisions that can have a significant and negative impact on the lives of older persons, contributing to their marginalisation and social exclusion. “The International Day

of Older Persons provides countries with opportunities to bring focus and public awareness to issues facing our older population. It also provides us with the opportunity to recognise the numerous positive contributions made by older persons to nation building, throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Additionally, it gives us the occasion to say thank you.”

No more cupboard babies as Straw Market offers day care By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter THE Straw Market Authority yesterday officially launched its new day care centre and homework study area at the Nassau Straw Market, something officials said will finally do away with the concept of “cupboard babies” at the popu-

lar downtown locale. According to officials, the term “cupboard babies” refers to infants of straw vendors who were placed in the cupboards located throughout the Straw Market as makeshift cribs while their mothers and/or guardians plied their wares throughout the day. At a press conference in the newly commissioned

day care centre, Straw Market Authority (SMA) Chairman Kevin Simmons highlighted the importance of providing a comfortable environment for the children of straw vendors throughout the day, as well as the importance of having personnel capable of ensuring the “smooth and effective” day-to-day running of both rooms.

“In the past, there was no proper facility to keep the babies,” Mr Simmons said. “We as the authority found this fitting that we ought to provide a comfortable environment for the babies to be in, while the mothers, or the parents, ply their wares downstairs. “Presently there are two babies enrolled. If you walk through the market you’ll

see that there’s more on the way, as there are a lot of vendors in childbirth as we speak, and so it couldn’t come at a better time. “And so we look forward to serving these vendors. And for the time being it’s only downtown but this will be duplicated in all of the straw markets that the Straw Market Authority operates.” The management committee of the day care centre and the adjacent after school study room is comprised of a registered nurse, SMA management staff as well as vendors. Mr Simmons said those on the committee will be placed on a “yearly rotation basis to ensure that this place is properly manned and maintained.” Deputy Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis, present at yesterday’s press conference, commended SMA officials for “the visionary steps being taken in transforming the experi-

ence of the straw vendors here in the Straw Market.” “I think the vision that you have for the Straw Market Authority and to translate it into the actual experiences of both vendors and customers, is truly born out of an understanding of this community of straw vendors,” he said. “This community of straw vendors has their own traditions, it’s a family, it’s a village. “And this daycare centre, and the after school room has now taken the place of what I’ve come to learn to be ‘cupboard babies.’ Because before now the babies were put in the cupboards while the vendors attempt to move around and ply their wares. So they now have a place. “And it is good that we have evolved now to where children are looked after properly and they are given the nurturing and the assistance with education that you have introduced here.”

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Expert highlights shortage of eye doctors amid hospital row By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter

WEIGHING IN on the dispute that led to the resignation of the chief of medical staff at Princess Margaret Hospital, ophthalmologist Dr Jonathan Rodgers yesterday highlighted the critical shortage of eye doctors in the country. Dr Rodgers explained that his support for the appointment of two Indian ophthalmologists - at the centre of the dispute - was rooted in the paradigm that some Bahamians will experience irreversible loss of eyesight as a result of the long waiting list for surgery and appointments at the Princess Margaret Hospital Eye Clinic. While the ratio of eye doctors to patients, in developed countries, is three to five ophthalmologists per 100,000 people, Dr Rodgers noted that there were currently only four board certified or fellowship certified practising eye doctors in the Bahamas. He said: “The shortage of ophthalmologists is highlighted by the fact that the waiting list at the PMH Eye Clinic for surgery and appointments is in excess of one year. Because of the long waiting list, undoubtedly there are some patients who have and will experience irreversible visual loss.” Just four months into his

DR JAMES JOHNSON, whose resignation as chief of medical staff has prompted debate. second term, Chief of Med- Physicians Staff Associa- as either senior registrars or ical Staff Dr James Johnson tion, and its President Dr consultants.” resigned with immediate Locksley Munroe, who Dr Rodgers said he ineffect on November 22 after flagged issues over the quired about the recruitment reaching an impasse with tone and insulting manner process to Dr Johnson in the Public Hospitals Au- in which Dr Johnson was passing shortly after the rethority over its decision to treated. quest was made, and was told disregard his recommendaIn an email to The Trib- that a registrar in the Eye tions on the appointment of une, Dr Rodgers provided Department and an inactive the two Indian eye doctors. a detailed account of the part-time consultant did not Dr Johnson told The appointment process that agree with the appointment. Tribune that he decided to began in March of this year Pointing out that those step down from the post - from his perspective. persons did not have the after it became apparent “The two recruited eye right to vote on the matter, that the Public Hospitals doctors are sub specialists Dr Rodgers noted that both Authority, namely direc- in cataract, corneal, refrac- detractors had not attended tor Herbert Brown, had tive and retinal surgery, are the two meetings at which already gone forward with both Fellowship certified, the decision was made, but the recruitment exercise de- have written numerous aca- had received the minutes of spite months of back-and- demic papers published in both meetings. forth discussion over the accredited ophthalmologiDr Rodgers said he inchanges. cal journals and have had quired about the recruitHe forecast that the dis- more surgical experience, ment process again while parity in pay and procedure at this stage of their oph- Dr Johnson was on sick between the new recruits thalmic careers, than any leave, and Dr Cherilyn and previous local hires had other surgeon at PMH. Giv- Hanna was made the acting the potential to create “big en their qualifications, the chief of medical staff and problems.” request was made that the head of the MAC. Dr HanHis resignation was sup- two Indian ophthalmolo- na informed him that the ported by the Consultant gists should come on staff doctors would be appointed


were due to stand trial before Justice Vera Watkins on December 5 concerning the incident. A third man, 25-year-old Jeffrey King, was to stand trial with Knowles and McCartney. However, in September, he was killed in a shootout with police in Yellow Elder Gardens. He was on bail at the time. However, in a hearing on Monday, Crown prosecutor Patrick Sweeting produced a nolle prosequi signed by the attorney general asking that the charge be discontinued against the two accused. Lawyer for the accused Geoffrey Farquharson was also served with a copy of the document. It is unclear why the Office of the Attorney General dropped the case.

The Office of the Attorney General could bring the case against Knowles and McCartney again at any time in the Supreme Court, but it is unlikely. The Christie administration has come under fire from the Free National Movement in the past for issuing nolle prosequi orders in controversial cases. “It is curious that the attorney general would take that position when this is not an ordinary situation,” Mr Turnquest said. “He was the prime minister of the country at the time, obviously they had evidence and reasonable grounds to take the case to trial. So the government and the AG’s Office owes the public a clear and transparent explanation as to why they have taken that position.

“It does not give a very good impression to the public this being the second questionable nolle, the first being that of a former client of the attorney general. This is a very unusual circumstance and in the interest of justice and transparency I believe we are owed an explanation, especially seeing that one of the alleged conspirators was (killed).” The men were accused of robbing Mr Davis of jewellery worth $93,000, a jewellery box worth $200, Baraka gold jewellery worth $700, an opal top wallet worth $450, a Royal Bank of Canada credit card and a driver’s licence worth $15. They were also accused of robbing Mr Davis’ wife, Ann Marie, of $2,953, and Wilberforce Seymour of $10. Mr Davis was acting

prime minister at the time of the incident as Prime Minister Perry Christie was out of the country. The FNM has also questioned the Office of the Attorney General’s decision to drop the charges against a married couple in 2012. George and Janice Hayles each faced a charge of possession of a firearm and ammunition. Authorities alleged that the accused, who were represented by Attorney General Allyson Maynard Gibson when she was in private practice, were found with a .380 pistol and 19 live rounds of ammunition for the weapon. Mrs Maynard-Gibson was out of the country when Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald, who was acting attorney general at the time, entered the nolle prosequi.

as junior registrars and not senior registrars. “On further investigation,” Dr Rodgers said, “Dr Hanna informed me that Dr Munroe, the former chief of surgery and a registrar in the Eye Department had collectively made the decision to appoint the two Indian ophthalmologists as junior registrars even though the recommendation from the two consultants in the Eye Department was that they should be recruited as either senior registrars or consultants. Dr Rodgers questioned how the former chief of surgery and an Eye Department registrar could influence the MAC to disregard the recommendation of the Eye Department’s consulting staff. He said that a review by other members of the PMH consultant staff under Dr Hanna, led to the unanimous decision that the two Indian doctors should be appointed as senior registrars because they were “probably the most qualified doctors who had ever applied for a position at PMH”. Dr Rodgers said that the two Indian doctors accepted the appointment initially, but then advised that they had been offered positions as consultants and requested an upgrade of the status being offered by PMH. Consultants have the right to engage in private practice. Citing prior experience

with foreign consultants, the MAC advised that it was not prepared to support such a change because this often detracted from their time spent at PMH providing public care. Taking into account the level of expertise and the dire need for their services, Dr Rodgers said the PHA decided that the doctors be appointed full time consultants on a three-year contract without the right to a private practice. He said this decision was agreed to by all save Dr Johnson and an Eye Department registrar. “Furthermore, (PHA Managing Director) Brown also explained that currently at PMH there were two full time consultants working without the right to a private practice and that both of these appointments had been recommended by the MAC. “It was therefore strange and inconsistent that the same MAC were now objecting to the two Indian ophthalmologists being appointed as full time consultants and that, perhaps, there was some other underlying reason why Dr Johnson was reluctant to upgrade the appointments. Dr Rodgers concluded that Dr Johnson and the other consultants were within their right to protest the decision, but noted that the PHA had the right to accept, reject, or defer any decision made by the MAC for the best interest of the Bahamian people.

PAGE 12, Thursday, December 1, 2016



OFFICIALS at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre yesterday announced a new outreach partnership with the Shell Saxon Superstars, with the group now set to host the hospital’s annual holiday Junkanoo parade. During a press conference at the centre’s Fox Hill Road compound to announce the move, Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) senior staff applauded the initiative, insisting that the inclusion of the popular group could reduce the common stigma attached to mental health in the country. SRC Chief Medical Staff Coordinator Eugenia Combie said she viewed the parade as “very important” to patients because it is viewed as a “cultural activity” - one she said qualifies as a “hall-

mark” event for the country. She said: “[Patients] feel very important when they participate. We engender a lot of values when we allow them to participate, preparation for Junkanoo might take months, so it calls for cooperation around them, it calls for collaboration and it calls for perseverance. “So we let them bring their ideas and work with each other to create toward what they want to portray on that day. On that day we give them the opportunity for them to be on stage, as well as a parade, not just in front of us as family, but also in front of judges and they always do their best.” Sandilands has hosted the parade since 1999, with each ward at the facility outfitting a group of participants with the view of “being the best.” SRC Principal Nursing Officer Thelma McKenzie stressed that the effort put

in by the patients is one of “pride and joy and enthusiasm.” “Junkanoo is always an exciting time at Sandilands. It is a time when our patients really look forward to pasting their costumes with newspapers with the help of the various groups. They look forward to it with pride and joy and enthusiasm.” “In preparation for Junkanoo, each ward enters the competition. It is very competitive because we have (patients) from various areas and they look forward to winning the final title. They brag about what they do, and how they do it.” While the partnership announced Wednesday focuses solely on the upcoming parade, public relations officer for the Shell Saxon Superstars, Kendonique Moss, said the group is dedicated to a full scope of outreach initiatives. “We are fortunate to have this partnership,” she

stated. “It is more than just Junkanoo. Of course Junkanoo unites people from all facets of life, but we want to make sure that the persons who are here feel that they are included as well. So many times, the persons that may be at SRC are not included, and that is not what we want.” “We want them to feel inclusive. So we want to take it even a little bit further, not only the Junkanoo that is going to ignite us and unite us, but we want to go a little further in terms of a movienight perhaps, maybe some gardening that we can partake in; just to be involved in an outreach programme. There are a lot of times we find that people tend to forget persons that are here at SRC and we don’t want that to happen. We want to be inclusive.” Officials at SRC have indicated that the upcoming parade will be open to the public.

RUTH ALBURY, Sandilands acting hospital administrator, speaking at yesterday’s announcement that the Shell Saxon Superstars would host the hospital’s annual Junkanoo parade. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Nominations are open for Cacique Awards NOMINATIONS for the 17th Cacique Awards to be held in April 2017 are now open. The awards, which celebrate the brightest and the best in the country’s hospitality industry, will be held at the Baha Mar Convention Centre on April 8 under the theme, “The Busi-

ness of Tourism.” There are 18 local categories and five international categories that will be honoured. They include Employee of the Year (Front of the House); Employee of the Year (Heart of the House); Chef of the Year; Sales Executive of the Year; Su-

pervisor of the Year; Manager of the Year; Hotelier; Transportation; Local Airlines and Tour Operators; Sports and Leisure; Special Events; Creative Arts; Handicraft; Sustainable Tourism Award; the Clement T Maynard Lifetime Achievement Award and the Minister’s Award. This year, officials have added the Willfred “Willie Love” Knowles Tourism Ambassador Award. Chairman of the Cacique Awards, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Harrison Thompson, said the awards are meant to award the trailblazers in the tourism sector. “Excellence is The Bahamas’ number one brand. When we talk about excellence all around the world we speak about The Bahamas. That’s why we say ‘It’s Better in The Bahamas and the best is yet to come,’” he said. “I would like to encourage their nominations as soon as possible. In submitting your nominations, you can nominate how many persons you feel are deserving of recognition and you can nominate for more than one category.” Vice President of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Suzanne Pattusch said the Cacique

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SENIOR executive in the Ministry of Tourism Kendenique Campbell Moss speaking at the launch. Awards is about recognising “breathtaking” service. “We are here to recognise the people and it is the people that make our tourism industry. This year we extended our listing to recognise the wide range of persons in the industry. So we hope that these categories will touch as many people that have impacted tourism,” she said. “We know that everyone matters in tourism. I’d like to thank employers who have taken the time to nominate who they think should be awarded. There is always a winner. But the fact that you are nominated means that you are recognised for

putting forth that level of excellence that we admire.” The director, writer and choreographer of the Cacique Awards is Ian Poitier. He said the entertainment for these awards will be like no other. “This is not just a piece of entertainment. This is an essential part of what we do and doing it in this way means that people are more drawn to it. When people come to our country, they are not aware of some of the challenges that we face. They want to engage to that side of our culture that are meaningful to them and that they can take back home and this is a part of

ATTENDEES at the Cacique Awards event. 

that,” Mr Poitier said. Nominations can be done online at or forms can be collected at any Ministry of Tourism office in the Family Islands or abroad. Nominees must be Bahamian. Persons may be nominated for more than one category. However, the nomination forms outline specifically what the requirements are for each category. The deadline for nominees is January 20. The nominees will be presented at a later date. For more information, contact the Ministry of Tourism at 302-2000.

Photos: Aaron Davis


Thursday, December 1, 2016, PAGE 13

HUGO BETHEL, Island Luck operations manager, handing out piggy banks to students of EP Roberts Primary School. 

Photos: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff


STUDENTS from EP Roberts Primary School with their piggy banks.

SEBAS BASTIAN, Island Luck CEO, pictured with two Grade 6 students of EP Roberts Primary School during their ‘Coins for Kids’ initiative.

TONY PRATT, customer service representative at Island Luck, with a student of EP Roberts Primary School.




Lymphedema is an abnormal collection of high-protein uid just beneath the skin. This swelling, or edema, occurs most commonly in the arm or leg, but it also may occur in other parts of the body including the breast or trunk, head and neck, or genitals. Lymphedema usually develops when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes are removed (secondary lymphedema) but can also be present when lymph lymphatic vessels are missing or impaired due to a hereditary condition (primary lymphedema). Join us on December 1 as Dr DeVonnia Bonimy-Lee explains the various ways Physical Therapy can help manage lymphedema.

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PRIMARY school students in New Providence are to receive instruction about money and how to save in the classroom under a new intiative from the Island Luck Cares Foundation (ILCF). Over the next six months every child at selected primary schools will receive a piggy bank and $5 in coins to help them learn about money management under the ‘Coins for Kids’ programme. Yesterday, students at E P Roberts were the first to receive a visit from the Foundation, which said ‘Coins for Kids’ was an ef-

fort to make coins count and make a difference for children. “The drive aims to empower students to teach themselves about money and saving in the classroom,” ILCF said. “Various primary schools throughout our communities in New Providence will be selected over the next six months in an effort to not only give back, but also to offer a tool on the classroom that brings communities together to teach money management to kids.” The Foundation said that piggy banks have historically been used to teach

children from an early age to prioritise saving for what they want to spend money on and helps to build their confidence and self-worth in a fun and practical way. “It is never too early to start the learning process and understanding of what money management is all about and our goal is to change the mindset of children from an early age by offering a platform to learn about money,” the Foundation said. “Through the act of giving we aim to create stronger, fiscally aware individuals, therefore creating a stronger economy.”

PAGE 14, Thursday, December 1, 2016


Judicial review in Abaco adjourned to mid-month By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter THE judicial review of Responsible Development for Abaco challenging the prime minister and eight other government respondents concerning a major development at Little Harbour, Abaco was adjourned in the Supreme Court on Monday. Fred Smith, QC, a partner in Callenders & Co law firm, has brought the review on behalf of Responsible Development for Abaco (RDA) challenging the prime minister and eight other government respondents concerning a major development at Little Harbour, Abaco. Residents fear that the huge development by the owners of Winding Bay will completely destroy the quiet Little Harbour community. The review was scheduled to start on Monday before Justice Petra Hanna Weekes, but counsel for the respondents requested an adjournment of the proceedings for a later date for an opportunity to file its evidence. In the meantime, the court has ordered all work SPEND LESS SLEEP WELL

to cease by the developer at Little Harbour. During Monday’s proceedings, counsel for the respondents also filed to strike out the prime minister and some government agencies that are listed as respondents in the judicial review. They also filed a security for cost, which a defendant in an action may require of the plaintiff who does not reside within the jurisdiction of the court, for payment of such costs as might be awarded to the defendant. Mr Smith told The Tribune that a compromise was finally reached on a date, and the court ordered the trial to commence in midDecember. Littler Harbour, Abaco, is a 100 per cent solar-powered community. Winding Bay, a development purchased in 2014 by David Southworth, of Massachusetts, USA, is seeking to impose a huge marina for mega yachts, which will require dredging, a power generation plant, retail outlet, restaurant, reverse osmosis plant, parking lot, etc to service the distant Winding Bay development. According to Mr Smith, homeowners have tried to


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engage government regulators and decision makers to allow them to be consulted on a proper basis as persons affected by the development. However, that has not happened. The QC, who is also legal adviser to the environmental group, Save the Bays, noted that as with developments at Guana Cay, Bimini Bay, Nygard Cay, Blackbeard’s Cay, etc, the government has refused to respond to any inquiries about what permits are being considered, what applications have been made, whether any of them have been approved, and whether any Crown land has been given away. He noted that there are statutory and other requirements for procedures related to permitting, and consultation, among other things. Mr Smith said it seems it is now becoming a regular thing for the government to try to stifle citizens. He said that by making plaintiffs pay security for cost means that eventually the government and developers will be able to conduct all their business “in secret,” and no one who is not a millionaire can challenge their anchor projects. “After 50 years as an independent nation, we still don’t have transparency in government, accountability, freedom of information, or that great promise by the FNM - which they never delivered on – “government in the sunshine,” Mr Smith told The Tribune.

READERS: MARCH WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN our latest online poll, we asked readers if they thought the “We March Bahamas” protest would make a difference to the direction of the country. At the time of going to press, 80 per cent of those voting did think the march would make a difference. The poll is still open - so don’t miss your chance to cast your vote. The news that a company owned by former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Neville Wisdom had been given a contract to erect Christmas decorations in downtown Nassau

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and Arawak Cay didn’t bring much festive cheer to those commenting on ThisIsOurs was unimpressed by the decorations: “Please take those things down, stop insulting these majestic trees with foolishness, first political propaganda and now this.” ThisIsOurs agreed: “I

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come beautiful. Please take this down. It’s awful. Trials are fine, it did not work, admit it did not work, learn from it and move on, but to tag this as ‘Bahamian’ design is insulting.” Voltaire asked: “And why why why does Neville Wisdom of all people get this contract? How much is it costing the Bahamian people? We have no money to pay public service nurses but we can give an incompetent former PLP Cabinet minister, who already lost us millions on the junkanoo bleacher fiasco, money for this foolishness? How on earth does Neville Wisdom qualify for this job?” Islandboy242242 said: “Gross. Looks like trees with Spanx on. I’m wondering if this is some sort of tree wrap designed just for The Bahamas since I couldn’t find anything similar online . . . what a waste . . .” But there was this from Birdiestrachan: “Mr Wisdom has every right to earn a living in the Bahamas. having said that, I am not to sure about the decorations.” To which Abaconian responded with: “He has every right to earn a living yes, but don’t you think it fishy that the govt awarded a former PLP minister the contract? That’s the problem with this country and this sums it all up. Here we have an example of a crony contract which ended up in a terrible job done and a waste of money. They probably could have given the contract to one of the many creative artistic people in this country who would have surely done a much better job . . . but no . . . let’s give it to our boy, former minister. It looks terrible.” • Don’t miss your chance to join the debate on


Thursday, December 1, 2016, PAGE 15

MICHELLE Boyle with a nice Wahoo near Bimini this week. A NICE Hogfish speared by Logan Stern this weekend.

RYAN and Kenneth Rasberry on the ‘Zebras’ near Bimini.

JOHNNY Wizman and crew slaying the fish near Bimini. BIMINI has been the spot for Wahoo recently, with a number of fishing enthusiasts striking lucky. Today sees the official closure of the fishing of Nassau Grouper by the Department of Marine Resources. From December 1 until February 28, 2017, the taking, landing, processing, selling or offering for sale of Nassau Grouper is strictly prohibited. The Department said all groupers are to be landed head and tail intact in the identification of the species of grouper. “The identification of the Nassau Grouper species from the other grouper species is that the

Nassau Grouper is the only grouper with the black band or saddle near its tail,” the department announced. The Department asked for the co-operation of the public in adhering to the fisheries laws and that people found violating the fisheries laws will be fully prosecuted. Keep checking the Bahamas Sport Fishing Network (BSFN) expert page for fishing reports throughout the Bahamas: this will be helpful in tracking the “hot spots” and providing advice on gear and fishing methods being used. For a sample of the spectacular fishing to be had in The Bahamas, expert ad-

vice, tournament dates and results, informative features and photo galleries visit the BSFN page at tribune242. com or BSFN slideshows can be found on USA Today’s website in the Travel section at

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FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS READY TO SET SAIL THE Sir Durward Knowles Festival of Lights - the traditional Christmas boat parade through historical Nassau Harbour hoists sail for the seventh year on Saturday December 10, casting off at 6.30pm. Starting in Arawak Bay the lighted flotilla will make its way to Montagu, giving a close-up view of the boats at Pier 14, where they turn in the channel. This year’s Festival of

Lights theme is “A Pirate Christmas in The Bahamas”. Charity boats can find sponsors to enter to raise awareness. This year’s Grand Marshall is Peter Andrews, well known sailor and philanthropist. “I am happy to captain the ship for our patron Sir Durward Knowles,” said Mr Andrews. “We are looking forward to a great event - I am reaching out to everyone to support us this year.”

THE “Huntress” won the private boat category in 2015 with their ‘Storm Trooper’ entry. 


Photo: Sheila Bethel

PETER Andrews is the Grand Marshall of the annual Festival of Lights this year.  Photo: Bahamas Waste

THE BAHAMAS Humane Society entry ‘Pros & Cons’ won the charity boats class. 

Photo: Sheila Bethel

LAST year’s commercial category winner, ‘Party Cat’. Photo: Sheila Bethel



Thursday, December 1, 2016, PAGE 17



# B @ ! ! * $

PLP says ‘Crime Down’

PLP Minister stands in front of an elecQon sign blasQng FNM’s record on crime


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